It almost sounds like a philosophical question, but indeed, what are autoflowering seeds? When mentioning the term autoflowering, we are talking about autoflowering cannabis. As the name suggests, this type of cannabis plant turns to the flowering stage based on the age of the plant itself. This is unlike the more typical photoperiod plants, which base their movement into the flowering phase on the hours of light it receives during a day.
Related article: Guide to the Differences Between Autoflower, Feminized (photoperiod) and Regular Seeds
In this article we will dive into the origin of autoflowering seeds, their characteristics, and we will highlight a few typical autoflowering strains that are great to add to your garden, when starting out with his variety of cannabis seeds.
The origin of autoflowering plants
Due to the nature of the cannabis industry, it is hard to find one solid theory that explains the true origin of autoflowering seeds. What we can say for certain, however, is that part of the puzzle of the original autoflowering genetics is Cannabis Ruderalis. This type of cannabis is found in the very harsh climates of Russia, central Europe and central Asia, making this species rather hardy, yet low in THC levels. Ruderalis was officially identified in the mountainous regions of South Siberia in 1924, by Russian botanist Janischewski. These ruderalis plants often grow along the mountain ridges and therefore cannot depend on a steady amount of light hours. This is why they evolved to grow based on the plant's age.
Related article: Cannabis Ruderalis Explained
It is to be believed that the Lowryder strain is one of the first autoflowering strains, containing genetics from a Mexican sativa called ´Mexican Rudy´ and a Russian Cannabis ruderalis plant. Another story appoints the origins of autoflower seeds to Finola, the first oilseed hemp variety, developed in Finland in 1995.
Whatever the one true story might be, it is clear that the large content of Ruderalis in early autoflowering cannabis strains, slowly but surely subsided. This can be attributed to the fact that more and more breeders started to uncover the traits that would make autoflower cannabis seeds such an interesting alternative to growing photoperiod plants.
Characteristics of Autoflowering cannabis seeds
Most cannabis destined for recreational and medicinal use is often high in THC levels. As said before, early autoflowering seeds would produce weed that would be low in that field, due to its Cannabis Ruderalis heritage. However, through rigorous crossbreeding with well known hybrids, we have ended up with Autoflowering seeds that spawn easy to grow cannabis plants, that can easily compete with many photoperiod plants when it comes to its powerful effects and big yields.
And autoflower plants have many advantages over growing photoperiod cannabis. One of its main features is the fact that this variety, on average, has a seed to harvest time frame of only 13 weeks. This consists of a vegetative growth of about 2 to 3 weeks after germination, and an average flowering stage of 8 weeks. Not only does this mean that you will be able to reap your shiny new buds quick, you will also be able to oversee multiple harvests in one growing season, when growing cannabis outdoors.
Related article: When To Harvest Autoflowers Explained
Not everyone is blessed with a Californian type of climate and when you grow outdoors, this can be an issue with many regular photoperiod plants. When you cultivate Autoflowering seeds this is not as much of an issue, due to its shorter life cycle, and its ruderalis genetics, making it hardy and less vulnerable in cold climates. Most of the autoflowering plants grow with a rather compact size, meaning that you can easily hide them if you so desire. Finally, if you grow autoflowers indoors, you can leave the lights on 24/7, as there is no need for a dark period in the light schedule.
Now we identified the benefits, and you are ready to grow autoflowering seeds. However, which strain do you start with? What typical autoflower strains can we recommend?
Typical Autoflowering Strains
More and more strains are added over time, as both autoflowering and feminized seeds. We figured to help you through this potential maze and to point out some of the strains that we see as typical autoflowering strains.
As mentioned before, Lowryder seeds is one of the OG (not to be confused with OG Kush seeds btw) autoflowering strains. This slightly Indica dominant hybrid is very easy to grow like most autoflowering seeds, and you would be able to enjoy her sweet lemony euphoria in no time. Unlike most modern autoflowers however, you will find a tiny, compact plant when her seeds sprout, with a max height of only 60 cm. Making her interesting to even the more experienced growers, who like to hide their hobby from their spying neighbors.
Some strains bring us back to the past, and some just take us on a wild dream. Tangerine Dream seeds is one of the latter. This autoflower strain is one of the more typical modern autoflowering varieties, with a high 20% THC level and substantial high yield. The sativa dominance will uplift you and refill your (potentially depleted) creative juices. Combine this with her delicious tangerine/citrus aroma and taste, and you get a dream of a strain to grow in your cannabis garden.
If you don't mind adding bigger plants to your cannabis cultivation area, and are looking for a CBD strain, you should sow a handful of CBD Purple Kush. The ultra-high CBD content will make both your body and mind feel oh so relaxed, without the use of any psychoactive effects. Growing CBD Purple Kush is not only easy as pie, due to her autoflowering nature. It also is a feast for the eyes, as her leafs will turn purple during the growth process.
What have we learned?
As your teacher might have asked you after the lecture, what have we learned? You now know how autoflowering seeds came to be. You learned what the characteristics are of autoflower seeds, and finally, you now can tell your friends what some of the typical autoflower strains are. I would say, a successful lesson all in all. But before you go, if you want to know what the best autoflowering seeds are, you can check out our Top 5 Best Autoflowering Seeds. And if that is not enough, check out any of our other blog articles. Class dismissed!